Stuffed Grape Leaves with Groundmeat / Etli Yaprak Sarma

Yaprak SarmaI always think that stuffing things such as grape leaves or peppers, tomatoes is insane. Whoever invented these dishes must have had a lot of time. Out of all grape leaves is the most time consuming. On the other hand (like the Fiddler of the Roof) it is so delicious; I cannot keep myself of preparing them time to time. Definitely my husbands favorite, so whenever I want to be nice to him, or he has been very nice it means that I am in the mood of preparing these. I often add these to the cooking class menu’s too, as these are very typical Turkish dishes.

To start with; you should buy the correct leaves. In Turkey, the best are sold in the markets, when you are buying tell the seller what you will cook. If you will cook this dish with groundmeat stuffing you will need smaller leaves. If you will go for a vegetarian version cooked with rice you will be offered larger leaves. Pickle shops is another alternative to buy good quality leaves. The best grape leaves come from the Turkish city called Tokat, which my in-laws come from. Supermarkets should be your last choice to buy grape leaves. You will be putting in lot of time, so buying good leaves is worth for. If you end up with large leaves cut them into half. The stuffed grape leaves with groundmeat should have small rolls.

Grape leaf stems Grape leaves in bottom

Now you are ready to roll. Choose a comfortable chair. Open a nice film. Call a friend or your child to help. On the table in front of you you should have washed grape leaves, the pot that you will cook in, the stuffing and a flat plate. Perhaps a few paper towel in case the phone rings.

 

Place a grape leaf on a flat dish. The shiny part should be facing downward. Put a teapoon of the stuffing on the part close to the stem. Fold two sides inwards and roll the wrap upwards like a cigar. Do not roll too loose or tight. Continue until either the leaves or the filling is finished.

 

Yaprak Sarma Roll 1 Yaprak Sarma Roll 2 Yaprak Sarma Roll 3 ???????????????????????????????

When one or all of the leaves or the stuffing is finished, you are almost finished with the dish. Don’t forget to cover it with a plate so the rolls swim around while cooking.

Rolled Yaprak Sarma Covered Yaprak Sarma

If you have left over grape leaves you might want to serve them with a lovely Lentil and Bulghur Salad or save it in the freezer to use next time. If you have left over stuffing stuff it in a large tomato or a zucchini.

Serve warm with plain yogurt. Enjoy and show off.

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Groundmeat / Etli Yaprak Sarma
Print Recipe
It takes a long time to prepare and very short time to eat. Worth the effort - once in a while.
Servings Prep Time
10 people 90 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 people 90 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Groundmeat / Etli Yaprak Sarma
Print Recipe
It takes a long time to prepare and very short time to eat. Worth the effort - once in a while.
Servings Prep Time
10 people 90 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 people 90 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Stuffing
  1. Use a large mixing bowl.
  2. As this dish takes a lot of time feel free to use a food processor to cut the following: onions, parsley, dill.
  3. Put the following in the bowl. Ground meat, onions, parslye, dill, ground bulghur, red pepper, black pepper, salt, tomato paste, olive oil. Mix well. Use your hands to make the mixture more combined.
Leaves
  1. When purchasing if it is possible tell the seller what you will prepare. For this dish try to buy small sized leaves.
  2. Wash the leaves very well. They are sold as little stacks. Separate each one, as there will be a lot of salt between them. If they feel rough it will be a good idea to soak them in boiling water for few seconds and drain.
  3. Cut off the stems. Keep about 20 of them, discard others. While washing if you notice too big ones or ones that have been ripped save several of them too.
Rolling
  1. Choose large pot, doesn't have to be non-stick. You can also choose to use a pressure cooker.
  2. To the bottom. Throw in the leaf stems you had saved. On top of them lay the leaves that are too large, stiff or ripped. This is done to lower the risk that the wraps stick in the bottom and get burnt.
  3. Now you are ready to roll. Choose a comfortable chair. Open a nice film. Call a friend or your child to help. On the table in front of you you should have washed grape leaves, the pot that you will cook in, the stuffing and a flat plate. Perhaps a few paper towel in case the phone rings.
  4. Place a grape leaf on a flat dish. The shiny part should be facing downward. Put a teapoon of the stuffing on the part close to the stem. Fold two sides inwards and roll the wrap upwards like a cigar. Do not roll too loose or tight. Continue until either the leaves or the filling is finished.
  5. Place each roll in the pot, starting from the corners, firmly side by side in circles. This is done so that when the water boils they don't float around.
  6. By the time you are finished with all the rolling the rolls should look like a nicely roller water hose.
  7. Make them as small as possible. If you have too big leaves cut them in two and roll afterwards.
  8. Add a 150 ml of warm water and 100 ml olive oil.
  9. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top.
  10. Put a porcelain plate on the very top so the rolls don’t swim around in the pot.
  11. Cook at high heat first. Then when the water boils, reduce the heat to medium.
  12. Cook until the leaves are cooked. For about half an hour. If there is no more water left and the leaves are not ready you may add some warm water.
  13. Serve with plain yogurt or yogurt mixed with crushed garlic.
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